Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Give Books for Christmas Giveaway Hop

I'm participating in the Give Books for Christmas Giveaway Hop, hosted by Inksplasher.

The hop runs from December 1 through the 15th. All books will be shipped on December 16th. We can't guarantee books will arrive in time for Christmas, but we're going to give it a good try!

At the end of this post, you'll see a long list of the participating blogs. Just click the links and go check out the books being given away by other bloggers.

I am giving away a copy of:
A Christmas to Remember
This is a fabulous collection of short Christmas stories by 14 Covenant authors, including me!
Perfect to share a short story with your family each night before bed to give them a little Christmas spirit. 
To enter to win this book:

      1. Become a follower of my blog (right sidebar, "My BFFs")
      2. Leave a comment telling me that you are a follower and include your email address (This will only be used to contact you if you are the winner).  

          Additional entries: Want an extra chance to win? Just Tweet or Facebook about my giveaway and let me know in the comments about what you've done.

    That's it! The winner will be posted and notified at the end of the hop.

    Inksplasher (US)  6. Immortal Mine  11. LDS Publisher                16.  Nichole Giles
    2. Jennifer Hurst  7. Maria Hoagland  12. Carolyn Frank  
    3. FALL  8. The Last Word  13. K.C. Grant Writer's Corner (US)  
    4. Geek Girl  9. Weaving a Tale or Two  14. Publish Novels or Bust (US) 
    15. Heidi Murphy (US)
    5. Heart on a Chain  10. Tristi Pinkston          

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    4 Tips To Push Through Writer's Block

    Sometimes I feel like this. 
    Here's some writing tips to get your feet back on the ground and get you moving again.

    If you are one of those ambitious writers that took on NaNoWriMo (writing a book in a month), I sympathize with you. I know first hand the unmistakable feeling that your brain is leaking our your ear. Forcing creativity day after day until there is nothing left inside that hollow shell we call a skull. Have you ever written so much that you feel like you need a month to recover and rebuild your lost gray matter? It doesn't have to be that way. We can refresh in a short amount of time and keep on writing. I came across an article recently that describes 4 things you can do to reboot yourself. Here's what I learned:

    1) Channel Your Flow. 
    The frontal lobe of our brain is a big control center; one that needs to be quieted in order to let our creative energy flow. Try this simple exercise to channel it's energy in the right direction: Take several minutes before you start writing to reflect. You know--get in the zone. I would add here that deep breathing also helps to calm and focus your thought process. It's during this reflection time that you set parameters for your brain. Think about what the subject of your piece is and what is the main idea that you want to convey. A few minutes of this exercise before writing will help glean some "Aha!" moments.

    2) Cultivate Mindlessness
    Schedule at least 30 minutes a day to not think. That's right. Don't think about anything--especially your current work in progress. Completely zone out. Do some yoga, stare at the sky, take a hot shower, or do some "mindless" work like gardening or sorting mail. Do whatever as long as it relaxes you and doesn't require any thinking.

    3) Change Your Scene
    I'm not talking about the scenes in your manuscript. I'm talking about you. Go somewhere new. Exposing yourself to a different environment forces your brain to reprocess stored content. In other words, it can give a new prospective to your original ideas which can inspire creative breakthroughs. So go somewhere new. Try writing outside, go visit a new bookstore or coffee (hot chocolate) house, spend some time in a park, library, or restaurant. Or you can be freakishly weird like me--I like to spend time in graveyards.

    4) Nudge Your Muse
    This is a hands-on approach to inspire you. Take a paper and list some key ideas from your story, jot down characters, and phrases. Now look for new connections between these elements. What does your protagonist’s secret mean for her enemy? How does the war-torn setting color your character’s first romance? The more connections you make--the more ideas you can add into your story. Personally, I like to find something that connects to several things and make it an underlying theme throughout the book. It's fun.

    If you want more than a summery on this article, you can check it out here:

    Now go write!

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    What's next on my reading list.

    Thanks to everyone who commented here and on facebook, I now have a huge list of books to read and I can't wait to dive in. There were a couple of books that were mentioned by more than one person so I put those at the top of my list. Variant by Robison Wells was one of those so I chose it as my next read. I can't tell you how excited I am for this one! This guy was grown locally and Publisher Weekly has named Variant as one of the best books of 2011.  Check it out! 

    Thank you to everyone who shared their favorite books with me.
    I've got to get reading now!


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